LAHORE: The funeral prayers of the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Arfa Karim Randhawa, were offered at Al Khalid Mosque in Cavalry Ground here on Sunday.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood attended the funeral prayers along with a large number of military officers and civilians’. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also announced that Lahore Information Technology Tower (IT Tower) would be named after Arfa Karim.
Talking to Arfa’s father, the chief minister said that his daughter won laurels for the nation, which the Pakistani people would never forget. He said that Arfa Karim also impressed those older than her and was a precious asset for the whole country. He said that her death at such a young age was a tragedy.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that he was thankful to Bill Gates for taking interest in the treatment of Arfa Karim Randhawa. He said that now it is duty of every Pakistani youth to excel in the Information Technology sector. The chief minister also announced that the parents of Arfa Karim Randhawa would be chief guests in the function of distribution of free laptops among students by the Punjab government.
Arfa’s body was sent to her native village of Ram Divali in Faisalabad for burial after funeral prayers. Her parents, relatives and many others accompanied the body to attend the burial ritual. Arfa suffered an epileptic attack 26 days ago and was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Lahore. She was 16 years old and died on Saturday night.
She became the youngest MCP in the world when she was just nine years, nine months and 11 days old in 2004. She was then invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft headquarters in the United States.
Pakistani genius Arfa Karim was also the youngest-ever recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance. She also received the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of Science and Technology, which was presented to her by the prime minister in August 2005. President Pervez Musharraf also presented her with the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award in August 2005.
Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums, and was also invited by the IT professionals of Dubai for a two-week stay. Arfa was presented with various medals and awards during that trip. Later, she also flew a plane in a flying club in Dubai at the age of 10, and received her first flight certificate.
In November 2006, Arfa was invited by Microsoft to attend part of a keynote session in the Tech-Ed Developers Conference held in Barcelona. She was the only Pakistani among over 5,000 developers participating in the conference.
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Rajioon.